Canadian researchers say preliminary study into cannabis showed that certain strains of the psychoactive drug may increase resistance to coronavirus.
According to them, the strains of cannabis drug that could boost resistance to coronavirus work in a similar way to nicotine.
But the study is yet to be peer reviewed and if verified could boost medicinal cannabis business.
In a paper published on preprints.org, the scientists said some strains of cannabis reduce the virus’ ability to enter the lungs, where it takes hold, reproduces and spreads.
The researchers wrote that “Cannabis sativa, especially one high in the anti-inflammatory cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD), has been proposed to modulate gene expression and inflammation and harbour anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
Working under the Health Canada research license, we have developed over 800 new Cannabis sativa lines and extracts and hypothesized that high-CBD C. sativa extracts may be used to modulate ACE2 expression in COVID-19 target tissues.”
“Screening C. sativa extracts using artificial human 3D models of oral, airway, and intestinal tissues, we identified 13 high CBD C. sativa extracts that modulate ACE2 gene expression and ACE2 protein levels. Our initial data suggest that some C. sativa extract down-regulate serine protease TMPRSS2, another critical protein required for SARS-CoV2 entry into host cells.” the scientists further wrote.
According to the scientists “While our most effective extracts require further large-scale validation, our study is crucial for the future analysis of the effects of medical cannabis on COVID-19.
The extracts of our most successful and novel high CBD C. sativa lines, pending further investigation, may become a useful and safe addition to the treatment of COVID-19 as an adjunct therapy.”
Form of use
They also noted that their study “can be used to develop easy-to-use preventative treatments in the form of mouthwash and throat gargle products for both clinical and at-home use.
Such products ought to be tested for their potential to decrease viral entry via the oral mucosa. Given the current dire and rapidly evolving epidemiological situation, every possible therapeutic opportunity and avenue must be considered.”
Many scientists across the world are working on several forms of treatments for coronavirus with some countries adopting anti-viral drugs that have been successful in treating Covid-19 patients.
Cannabis for medicinal purposes is fast gaining support in Africa with some countries legalizing it and licensing it’s activities.